"Laser" Man To Plead Guilty To Patriot Act Charge

10 10 Wins | November 9 2005

(1010 WINS) NEWARK, N.J. The Morris County man who allegedly pointed a hand-held laser device at an aircraft last year and then lied about it to investigators is due in federal court this morning.

David Banach's lawyer, Gina Mendola-Longarzo, tells the Daily Record of Parsippany that her client will plead guilty to one count of violating the Patriot Act as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. In return, they'll dismiss two counts of making false statements to law enforcement officers.

Banach could have faced 20 years in prison if convicted at trial. But Mendola-Longarzo won't say whether the 39-year married father of three young daughters will avoid jail time.

Mendola-Longarzo has said Banach was using the laser to look at stars with one of his daughters when the beam lit up the charter aircraft's cockpit on December 29th, temporarily blinding both pilots. She says he never meant to cause any trouble.


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